On Sept. 16 in Tehran, Iran, a woman died in the custody of the morality police for violating their dress code. Mahsa Amini, 22, was arrested three days prior for allegedly wearing a hijab incorrectly and died in the hospital after falling into a coma.
The police deny beating her and say that she died due to a preexisting condition, which her family denies the existence of.
Amini’s death sparked outrage throughout Tehran. In the streets, women began to remove their hijabs and burn them. Students also started to tear up photos of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. According to The Jerusalem Post (JP), officials say 41 people died during the protests, but human rights groups say the number is higher.
In Iran, the internet was shut down to stop people from organizing protests. Khamenei publicly responded on Oct. 3 that he thought that Amini’s death was tragic, but condemned the protests, blaming the United States and Israel. He accuses foreign powers of planning protests in a Zionist regime to destabilze the Islamic Republic.
Supreme Leader Khamenei is a tyrant and a paranoid antisemite to think that Zionists are the reason for the protests, and not the clear violation of women’s rights. The Western
World seems to agree, since there are even more protests outside of Iran, particularly in the United States and Europe.
According to the Associated Press, President Joe Biden said that he remains “gravely concerned about reports of the intensifying violent crackdown on peaceful protestors in Iran, including students and women, who are demanding their equal rights and basic human dignity,” and “The United States stands with Iranian women and all the citizens of Iran who are inspiring the world with their bravery.” It is great to see Biden speak out against the clear human right’s violations under Iran’s dictatorship. It is disgusting that the Iranian government not only tramples on the rights of women, but also violates the rights of the people to assemble a peaceful protest. Shutting down the internet to stop protests shows the cowardice of Khamenei.
It is ridiculous to kill a woman to uphold the status quo of sexist religious dogma. Even if Amini did wear her hijab in an improper manner, it does not give the theocratic dictatorial power the right to kill someone who did nothing wrong.
Standing in solidarity with the people, especially the women, of Iran is our only option if we want to preserve human dignity throughout the world. We should not tolerate corrupt cowards bullying the citizens of a country into the compliance of primitive laws.
Having countries around the world speak out against the terrible human right’s violations is nothing short of amazing. The people of Iran deserve better than to be trampled under the cruel foot of tyranny. I stand with Mahsa Amini and the people of Iran, and I implore you to do the same.
Nico Brazill can be contacted